Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ocean City Council Seeking Public’s Help In Opposing Proposed Cell Towers

OCEAN CITY — Resort officials this week made it abundantly clear they are strongly against a proposal to install as many as 90 cell phone towers, some as tall as 38 feet, throughout Ocean City and are asking residents and visitors to join in the opposition.
Two weeks ago, through a seemingly innocuous legal advertisement, the private sector company Crown Castle announced a proposal to install as many as 90 distributed antenna systems, essentially cell phone towers, at locations throughout Ocean City, including many of the resort’s residential neighborhoods. The towers would range from about 18 feet to as high as 38 feet and are needed to expand bandwidth and improve Internet accessibility in the densely populated resort.
Crown Castle approached resort officials in 2015 about installing the necessary technology to expand bandwidth and improve Internet accessibility, but that initial proposal called for installing the hardware on existing structures including light poles and other utility poles. The Mayor and Council had some concerns about even that concept, but when Crown Castle returned this spring with a vastly different proposal to install as many as 90 new towers throughout Ocean City, resort officials took exception to the plan.
“At the time, we had some concerns with this, but we were willing to work with them,” said City Engineer Terry McGean, who outlined the town’s opposition to the proposal during Monday’s Mayor and Council meeting. “They went through a couple of different consultants and this spring they came back to us and their proposal was substantially different than what we had previously seen.”...

...“We told them very strongly we are opposed these installations, particularly in our residential neighborhoods where utilities are already undergrounded,” he said. “They have submitted for over 90 of these installations and we have not approved a single one of them at the local level.”...

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